Fairfax County Approves Additional Zoning Flexibility in Response to COVID-19

November 3, 2020

The Fairfax County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors recently approved a 60-day emergency ordinance that permits flexibility for uses impacted by state or federal COVID-19 requirements. The ordinance suspends any proffer, development condition or ordinance provision to the extent it would otherwise preclude a temporary modification to an activity, use or structure, as determined by the zoning administrator.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has moved quickly to logically evolve its operational and regulatory framework to provide much-needed flexibility that responds to both applicable public health considerations and the practical business and operational concerns of businesses and industries that provide jobs and services to county residents.

This action responds to Gov. Ralph Northam’s COVID-19 executive orders, which triggered a wide range of modifications to uses, activities and structures. The ordinance fulfills the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ stated intention to remove unnecessary obstacles to businesses while following state and other governmental COVID-19-related requirements. On Nov. 17, 2020, the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing to establish a permanent ordinance for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

McGuireWoods real estate attorneys and land use planners are happy to discuss zoning and development strategies to help guide businesses through the federal, state and local government relations challenges arising from the pandemic across Northern Virginia.

McGuireWoods has published additional thought leadership analyzing how companies across industries can address crucial business and legal issues related to COVID-19.